The Gavel Pose: Copyright in Yoga Sequence is a Stretch

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Meeting Location: Locke Lord 750 Lexington Ave. (NW corner of 59th St.) 8th Floor Multi-Purpose Conference Room New York, NY

Description: Yoga is an ancient practice that can invigorate the mind and the body. It has attracted millions of dedicated practitioners in the United States and around the world. There are different styles of yoga, and countless sequences and forms. But, can a yoga sequence be the subject of copyright protection? Is it an original artistic expression contemplated by U.S. copyright law? Join us for an educational and entertaining night where we will discuss cutting edge intellectual property law issues inspired by recent disputes involving Bikram "Hot" Yoga. Yoga mats and Lululemon apparel are optional.

CLE: 1.5 Credits

Program Materials:


Bikram's Yoga College of India, L.P.; Bikram Choudhury v. Evolation Yoga, LLC, 803 F.3d 1032 (9th Cir. Oct. 8, 2015)

17 U.S.C. §§ 102(a), 102(b)

17 U.S.C. §§ 103 

Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99 (1879)

Palmer v. Braun, 287 F.3d 1325 (11th Cir. 2002)

Publications Int'l, Ltd. v. Meredith Corp., 88 F.3d 473 (7th Cir. 1996)

Balt. Orioles, Inc. v. Major League Baseball Players Ass'n, 805 F.2d 663, 660 n.7 (7th Cir. 1986) (suggesting player performance may be copyrightable, as level of artistic merit is merely "a modicum of creativity") 

Copyright Office Statement of Policy, 77 Fed. Reg. 37605 (June 22, 2012)

F.F.Scott Kieff, Robert G. Kramer, and Robert M. Kundstadt, It's Your Turn, But It's My Move: Intellectual Property Protection for Sports Moves, 25 Santa Clara High Tech L.J. 765 (2008)

Carl A. Kukkonen, III, Be a Good Sport and Refrain from using my Patented Putt: Intellectual Property Protection for Sports Related Movements, 80 J. Pat. & Trademark Off. Soc'y, 808, 821 (1998)

See also U.S. Patent  No. 5616089 (patent for method of putting, in the name of Dale Miller) and U.S. Patent No. 8605152 (patent for method for yoga class imaging and streaming, issued in 2013 and subsequently forfeited in 2014)